Billionaire charter-school advocate and political donor calls Betsy DeVos "unprepared and unqualified"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/02/billionaire-charter-school-adv.html


#2

Is there a GIF of someone who is shocked while eating popcorn?


#3

If he suddenly realized education policy is going to be a clusterfuck under todays GOP, just wait until he gets a load of foreign policy under Bannon.


#4


#5

Why didn’t he send the letter to Senate Republicans? Oh wait, he did.

Eli Broad sent a letter to Senate leaders… written to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer


#6

I’m looking forward to the clever name they give the coming legislation (i.e.: Leave no Child Behind means Ignore hopeless kids to bring up the average standardized test scores)

Look forward to the Make Education Great Again law which = Extract as much school funding into private profit as possible through charter schuls


#7

Looks like DeVos might actually be voted down, which is unprecedented in cabinet nominations. Think Trump will withdraw her, or go down swinging?


#8

I thought it was “a lock,” for 51-50?


#9

Time will tell.


#10

For those unaware, the charter school / school choice system is going to be the primary driver for structural racism in the USA for the next 50 years, at least.

It is a system of economic discrimination that ensures that the least likely to receive any educational resources outside of school, are also given the lowest quality education, and vice versa. In the name of rewarding excellence, it punishes poverty and accidents of birth. It ensures that the poor will remain, as they are now, disproportionately people of color; thus it reinforces and sustains things like police brutality directed against African-Americans, housing disparities, and many other forms of systemic discrimination against the poor and non-white populations.

So this guy is basically Nathan Bedford Forrest Lite, but DeVos is too much for him.


#11

I guess that’ll do.


#12

I got great grades — I’m a really smart guy — you should have seen my grades — the best. Look, if they’re going to be failures — fine — don’t need them. Sad!


#13

Cory, that photo was spectacularly apropos… thanks.


#14

That is actually what has me a bit puzzled here:

If your objective is to advance charter schools; having someone who is ideologically sympathetic and largely incompetent at the head of the DoE seems like it would be perfect. Charter school enthusiasts bring widely varying degrees of cynicism to the process(anywhere from an honest belief that they are acting in the interests of all children, including or even especially those currently attending our most dysfunctional public schools; to a more or less straightforward effort to strip-mine education funding and deliver as little as they can get away with); but you have to be pretty goddamn awful in some genuinely impressive way if you appear incapable of useful leadership in public education and willing to cut checks to charter schools; and they still think that there is something seriously wrong with you.

@Medievalist; do you have any suspicions as to what flavor of objections are at work here? The mention of ‘unregulated charter schools’ and ‘the rights of all students’ gives his concerns the flavor of being a true believer displeased at encountering a strip-mining opportunist; but since openly announcing yourself as a strip-mining opportunist is unpopular; it’s relatively common for charter advocates of widely varying levels of sincerity to speak as though they are sincere true believers, so that might not be relevant.

Similarly ‘conflicts of interest’, would be of concern to a sincere enthusiast; but would also be of a concern to someone who is hoping that their Edudyne Managed Learning Solutions LLC. will be first to the money spigot; but suspects that DeVos Family Educorp might be…unfairly well placed to muscle in.

It could also be that there isn’t a personal conflict of conflicts of interest; but as an advocate of charter schools(regardless of sincerity level) her sheer level of potential corruption raises the concern that she will be so overtly appalling as to crater public support for the concept for years and any ‘gains’ made during her tenure will be too sick to survive for long.

I don’t disagree with your conclusions RE: the socially regressive effects of ‘hey, let’s get better results by cherry picking!’(though I must admit that it does work, for the people cherry picked. I was ontologically skillful enough to be born into comfortable circumstances through neonatal hard work, determination, and character; and education sure is a lot easier and more effective when all the students are hand-picked and you can get rid of any problem cases at your pleasure); but there must be something going on if a major charter school fan(who is far and away wealthy enough to escape most unpleasant side effects of anything going badly) is writing open letters to the senate asking them to run away screaming. I just don’t have a sense of what flavor of disagreement is at work here.


#15

I don’t either, and I too would like to know. It’s possible that it’s just a personality conflict, of course… but if the letters are anything to go by, Broad is concerned that DeVos’s advocacy of near-total school deregulation will damage his own agenda of rewarding those who need rewarding the least, and leaving the disadvantaged to fend for themselves.


#16

I wonder if the religious angle has anything to do with it. By all accounts, DeVos is one of those people who is about as enthusiastic about Christianity as it is possible to be without having to listen to too much of that hippie-jesus nonsense; and she has made a variety of remarks at unguarded moments about how an opportunity to restructure education would totally be an awesome chance to advance God’s Kingdom.

“Unregulated charter schools and vouchers” could be a polite phrasing of “Shit, all I wanted was taxpayer-funded private schools; and you guys are on the edge of confirming someone who thinks that Calvinist Madrassas would be a good thing!”

It could also be a more straightforward disagreement over standards. The more smash-n’-grab charter proponents tend to be against anyone checking their work; because that makes it much easier to deliver unto the shareholders while delivering differently-awful education; while the ‘the objective here is publicly funded private schools’ types are less likely to be worried about checks of their academic results(mean comments about how they are massaging the numbers by dumping the hard cases on the local public school district are less welcome); because they fully intend to deliver good educations; just not evenly distribute them.


#17

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